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Thread: Is this Weird?! Strained 8 Year Relationship.....

  1. #1

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    Is this Weird?! Strained 8 Year Relationship.....

    I am currently in a relationship of 8 years that is currently very strained. Over the past several months we have gone through a few traumatic events (house burned down) that have resulted in us having to stay with my significant otherís family temporarily. My biggest issue is that I do not particularly like my sister-in-law because she comes off as incredibly needy, abrasive, and emotionally volatile. She also loves and enjoys conflict. I try to surround myself with people that do not create unnecessary drama. I spend my entire work week (70 hours a week between 2 jobs) dealing with needy and emotionally labile clients, so when I get off, I have no interest in continuing to do that. Along with that, we have very different personalities and interests. I am also VERY busy as I work 2 jobs and have to shuttle 3 kids to their extracurricular activities. I am always polite and cordial to her during family events because I believe that you have to be civil and show good manners even if you do not like someone.

    She is turning this into a conflict between my significant other and myself. We are fighting a great deal over this. My issue is that I feel that my SO should be more understanding with how hard I am working and have my back. The first several years of our relationship, he HATED her and could not stand her and was constantly saying horrible stuff about her. For some reason over the past few weeks he has suddenly started putting her on this pedestal. The whole situation and sudden change in attitude feels WEIRD and causes me to feel uneasy.

    One time I had some time off in the afternoon before I had to go to work that evening, so I had a cup of coffee with one of my best friends. This turned into, ďyou can hang out with her, but you canít hang out with my SIL?Ē I donít hang out with my close friends very often because of how busy I am, maybe 1-2 times per month if even that. Sometimes I go months without seeing them. I know that she is giving my SO crap and telling him every time I have lunch with a friend, ďwhy canít she hang out with me!Ē Itís turn to the point, where whenever I come out and try to interact with her, I am met with my SIL rolling her eyes at me, giving me dirty looks, and staring me down. Despite this, I do my best to kill her with kindness.

    I also wake up at 5am and sometimes do not come home until 10pm (on weekends I work overnights) and that is turning into an issue because she feels that I NEED to hang out with her when I get to the house. I canít when I work 80-90 hours on a BAD week because Iím tired. Iím working as much as I can to try to dig ourselves out of our ďhole.Ē When I am up at 5am and donít get home until really late or when I work overnight, I need to go bed so that I can get up the next day and do it again.

    Iím tired of being the bad guy and I feel like this whole situation is very childish. We are not in kindergarten nor are we living in Mister Rogers neighborhood. Itís harder to be friends with someone that is needy and is constantly asking, ďWhy wonít she hang out with me!Ē Though we should all be civil to each other, we all do not have to be friends. I understand that not everyone is going to like me and if they do not, I could care less. I nicely move on and continue to remain civil. As a human being, I feel that I have the right to choose who my closest friends are. Along with this, I donít think there is anything wrong with setting boundaries in regards to the type of people and drama you are not willing to allow into your life. I am tired of walking on eggshells, but I do because I am in her house and I need to be respectful. I feel my kindness is starting to run out and Iím about to ďlose my SH*&Ē on her.

    We are leaving the house in a couple of weeks, but this has created a huge division between me and my SO and angry feelings on my end. I feel weird about his sudden change of attitude and how he is suddenly all about her and protecting her. Iíve tried talking to him about this, however my bringing it up upsets him.

    Thoughts about this situation and any comments or advice? My friends think the situation is weird, but they will always take my sideÖÖ 

  2. #2
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    My thoughts are simply that your SIL is a classic manipulative drama queen. She acts like a victim to your bf and he has bought into that, thus you are the bad guy and she, poor girl, needs protection. You are strong and being a jerk, she is weak and needs help.

    Stop fighting with your bf. It won't help you and all it does is pull you both into her games. Kill him with kindness just like her. Also, you have no reason to share where you are going or what you are doing with her. In short, limit how much fuel you are giving her. Why would she even know you are meeting your friends for a couple of hours? Btw, she hates you because you represent everything she isn't and she wants to break you for it and bring you down to her level of insecure mess. All the more important that you smile sweetly at both her and your bf and show nothing.

    Once you guys move out, get some space from her, get your heads back on straight, hopefully you and your bf can patch up and move past this episode. Let your minds clear so to speak. If he continues to be take other people's sides and undermine you and otherwise his loyalty continues to skew, then you might have to rethink this relationship.

    It sounds like you are absolutely killing yourself working, so what does your bf do or contribute to things? I hope you aren't the one supporting all of you single handed.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    When asked ďyou can hang out with her, but you canít hang out with my SIL?Ē I would have answered an enthusiastic -`correct'
    There is no need to explain yourself further or defend yourself. You and the SIL are related tied legally and happen to live in the same house for the time being.
    This translates into you needing to be polite, kind and cordial, but at no time does this mean you two need to be bff's

    I would gently tel your partner that this is between you and the SIL and you don't need a third party negotiator. Unless you are being rude or insensitive, he needs to back off.
    I would politely refuse to discuss it any further and I would definitely not defend myself. When you defend yourself you set your self up for rebuttal.
    Just don't engage the discussion any further . . *with a smile


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